Photons in Space Stimulated Using Microwave Radiation

Photons in Space Stimulated Using Microwave Radiation
Photons in Space Stimulated Using Microwave Radiation

The ability of individual photons to exert very small, highly regulated radiation pressure on mechanical elements makes optomechanical systems the platform of choice for basic physics experiments and precision sensors. To be able to operate the mechanical component of an optomechanical device in a quantum regime, researchers must cool it to its ground state. They usually achieve this by connecting the oscillator to a so-called linear optical cavity. The efficiency of this cooling can be significantly increased by replacing the linear cavity with a nonlinear one, as demonstrated by David Zoepfl of the University of Innsbruck in Austria and colleagues. The team claims that high-mass mechanical systems that are difficult to cool with current methods could particularly benefit from their approach.

The team's setup consists of a magnetic cantilever inductively coupled to a superconducting optical cavity. Due to the nonlinear response of the cavity to the light intensity, the frequency of the cavity decreases as the number of photons in the cavity increases.

In the tests, Zoepfl and colleagues used microwave radiation to excite photons in space. This procedure changed both the magnitude of the nonlinear response of the cavity to the magnetic field and the coupling strength between the oscillator and the cavity. They discovered that the amplitude of the console's thermal fluctuations dropped faster for their non-linear cavity, compared to a linear cavity. In addition, they showed that the cantilever could be cooled to an effective temperature of magnitude lower than what can be achieved with a linear cavity under the same conditions.

The group is currently exploring ways to further improve cooling using this method to reach the effective temperatures needed to probe higher-mass systems at quantum limits.

Source: physics.aps.org/articles/v16/s6

 

Günceleme: 18/01/2023 14:29

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